MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. (Jan. 7, 2020)-The Medford High School Mustangs and Somerville High School Highlanders girls and boys basketball teams will go head-to-head at the 4th Annual Tufts Classic on Sunday, Jan. 19, at Cousens Gymnasium on Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus. The girls’ game will tip off at 12 p.m., and the boys’ game will tip off at 1:30 p.m.
The winners of each game will receive a “Tufts Classic” trophy, which will stay in their possession until the next Tufts Classic. Last year, the Medford girls’ team and Somerville boys’ team took the trophies back to their respective high schools.
Players from all four teams will receive specially-branded Tufts Classic t-shirts to commemorate their participation in the doubleheader.
Admission to the Tufts Classic doubleheader is free. Event staff will be accepting donations for Project SOUP in Somerville and Community Cupboard in Medford. Fans are asked to bring nonperishable food items and personal household and hygiene products to support those in need in both cities. A detailed list of preferred donation items can be found at the Tufts Classic’s Facebook event page.
The Medford boys’ team coach is Tufts alumnus John Skerry, who captained the Jumbo men’s basketball team in 1994.
The Tufts Classic is just one way that Tufts supports young athletes and students in the Jumbos’ host communities.
Tufts will host students from 75 local high schools, including Medford and Somerville, at the Region IV Science Fair on March 6 at Breed Hall, 51 Winthrop Street in Medford. In addition to the awards for the top STEM students in the region, there will also be prizes for the top students from Medford and Somerville.
As part of a community benefits package that Tufts provides to its host communities, Somerville’s young recreational athletes in select sports have access to Tufts athletic fields and facilities for practices and games. To address a shortage of facilities temporarily exacerbated by construction of the new Somerville High School, Tufts hosted Somerville teams more than 600 hours of practices, scrimmages and games in 2019.
Tufts men’s lacrosse and football teams host annual coat and food drives for Somerville Homeless Coalition, and the Tufts football team also participates in a reading program with students at West Medford’s Brooks Elementary School. Additionally, Tufts student athletes volunteer at Columbus Elementary School in South Medford with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.
Jumbo athletes also act as mentors for local children through Team IMPACT, a program co-founded by Tufts alumni that pairs children with severe or chronic illnesses with college athletes.